August 2, 2014
This year’s Gay Pride in Amsterdam featured a Moroccan boat in the canal parade. This is the first time a boat designated specifically Moroccan has been included. Also participating in the Gay Pride parade was a Jewish boat, a boat representing the Amsterdam police, and a cohort of members of the armed forces and the city council.
March 1 2013
Habibi Ana, an Amsterdam café which bills itself as a Muslim gay bar, is shutting down March 2 2013. The closure is not due to the club’s demographic or status as a Muslim gay bar but rather due to breaking noise regulations. RNW provides a profile on its history and the role it played in the city’s social landscape. The club opened in 2001, complete with participation in the city’s Gay Pride Parade. Founder Atef Salib explains that he did not feel welcome in Dutch gay bars and wanted to create an establishment for Arab homosexuals with a particular atmosphere. The bar is closing after having broken civic licensing regulations more than three times.
2 April 2012
A Turkish boat will float in this year’s Gay Pride parade, Amsterdam’s ProGay Foundation has announced. The parade has a capacity of 80 boats, and drew lots from 188 submissions to determine which groups would sail in the August event. ProGay Chair Irene Hemelaar expressed satisfaction with the presence of the Turkish float, saying that the organization is “really pleased with this addition… the Netherlands has an estimated 20,000 gays and lesbians of Turkish descent.” The gay pride festival will be held between 28 July and 5 August 2012.
Last week, five Muslim men have gone on trial accused of having distributed leaflets calling for gay people to be executed. The Derby Crown Court heard that the group of five had allegedly handed out leaflets demanding the death penalty for homosexuality after Friday prayers at a Derby mosque and put them through people’s letterboxes in the local neighbourhood in July 2010, in the run up to the Gay Pride event. By handing out anti-gay death sentence flyers, the five men are accused of stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, which is a breach of the new hate laws that came into force in March 2010. This prosecution is the first of its kind since the legislation came into force. The trial continues. All five men deny the charges; if they are convicted, however, they face a maximum sentence of seven years in jail and/ or an unlimited fine.
The Globe and Mail – July 5, 2011
The participation of Naheed Nenshi, the Mayor of Calgary, as grand marshal for his city’s Gay Pride celebrations this coming September is depicted in this article as a model of the kind of acceptance that Pride events are meant to exemplify. Particularly in comparison with the city of Toronto’s politically conservative mayor who did not participate in its festivities.
Many will rush to claim this as another first in the historic mayoralty of Mr. Nenshi, the first Muslim mayor of a major Canadian city. But Mr. Nenshi does not “represent” Muslims any more than any other Muslim does. He does, however, represent Calgarians.
Ahmed Marcouch, mayor of the Slotervaart district of Amsterdam, decided that a local Gay Pride parade will pass by establishments in the town. According to the Union of Moroccan Mosques in Amsterdam, local mosques are not happy about the decision, but are not publicly opposing it either. “We have no opinion about it. It is a wish of a district mayor, we don’t need to talk about everything,” said Khalil Aitblal, a spokesperson for the organization.
Aitblal added that the topic of homosexuality is sometimes an issue in mosques “because it’s an issue which people have difficulty with” but stated that he has no desire to make a public case of such discussions. The El Tawheed mosque is also reserved, but for another reason – spokesperson Fahred Zaari said “If we give our religious arguments, it quickly leads to the conclusion that Islam fosters certain aggressive feelings, against gays or against people who think differently. That is quickly understood as a threat, that is difficult.”
The problem, according to Zaari, is violence against gays: “Practice shows that those who trouble gays, or attack, are almost never practicing Muslims. We have religious objections against the homosexual act, that gives no right to injure, threaten or beat anyone. We preach that too.”